Philip Larkin will be honoured
Philip Larkin will be honoured

Hull has been named UK City of Culture 2017, beating competition from Dundee, Leicester and Swansea Bay.

The City of Culture initiative was established by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on the back of Liverpool's success as European Capital of Culture in 2008.

TV producer Phil Redmond, who chaired the advisory panel that decided the winner, said Hull was a "unanimous" choice.

He added: "We were particularly impressed with Hull's evidence of community and creative engagement, their links to the private sector and their focus on legacy, including a commitment to enhance funding beyond 2017, and I'd like to congratulate all involved."

Hull has promised to deliver a £15 million programme of cultural events, including an "outdoor aerial spectacular" honouring poet Philip Larkin, who worked as the city's university librarian for 30 years.

'Game-changer'

The Hull Truck Theatre is set to play a central part in the year, which will feature a different cultural event every day for 12 months.

Mark Babych, artistic director of Hull Truck, told WhatsOnStage: "Being the UK's City of Culture in 2017 will be a real game-changer for Hull and crucially it will leave a lasting legacy beyond 2017, transforming perceptions of the city, ensuring a more vibrant, sustainable cultural sector, and improving opportunities for local people to participate and access jobs.

"It allows us to increase the scale of our ambition, and the programme of arts and cultural events - including visits from major UK and international theatre companies, 25 festivals and spectacular opening and closing ceremonies - will give us a platform to show the world what Hull has to offer."

This year's inaugural City of Culture is Derry, which is currently playing host to a range of cultural events, despite reports of a funding shortfall.

Eleven cities initially bid to win the title, which is awarded every four years, in 2017.

Announcing Hull as the winner this morning, Culture secretary Maria Miller said: "This is brilliant news for Hull and everyone involved in the bid there.

"This year's UK City of Culture, Derry-Londonderry, demonstrates the huge benefits that the title brings. These include encouraging economic growth, inspiring social change and bringing communities together.

"It can produce a wonderful mix of inward investment and civic pride, and I hope Hull's plans will make the most of all that being UK City of Culture can bring."